Police Allegedly Fire 41 Shots At Unarmed Man

Michael Vincent Allen

Officer Patrick Tuter crashed his car into Michael Vincent Allen’s truck in Mesquite, TX yesterday after an extended attempt to chase down the latter. What happened directly after the stop, we’re not quite sure of, potentially because Mesquite PD deleted the photos detailing it. But we do know how the encounter ended — Allen is dead after Tuter discharged about 41 shots.

Mitchell Wallace and and his family witnessed the incident:

After Allen pulled into a driveway at the end of a cul-de-sac in an attempt to make a U-turn, his truck was pinned between two police cars with one of the police cars striking Allen’s truck from the front, said Wallace’s 17-year-old son, Cameron.

‘From the time they yelled, ‘Get out, get out,’ they didn’t give him three seconds to get out,’ Mitchell Wallace said, adding that he counted about 20 bullet holes in Allen’s truck.

Wallace and his wife were asleep when the gunshots began, but they quickly made it to the porch to see Allen’s passenger being pulled from the truck and a police dog jumping into the cab. The German shepherd bit Allen in the neck and jaw area and dragged him out of the truck and onto the pavement, Wallace said.

Police officers pulled the dog off, flipped Allen on his stomach and handcuffed him before checking his pulse. Autopsy results are pending on the cause of Allen’s death.

Wallace says his phone contained photographs documenting the events that were deleted by the police. He says Mesquite officials confiscated the phone for four days, without a warrant, after the evidence was already deleted. Officer Tuter has been placed on restricted duty and is currently the subject of both a criminal investigation by the Mesquite police as well as an internal investigation in Garland, TX, Tuter’s home department.

The police cannot legally delete photographic evidence of an arrest and cannot seize the photographs without a court order except in exceptional circumstances. The Washington, D.C. Police Department is currently facing a lawsuit over the seizure of photographic evidence of a police vehicle colliding with a motorcycle, though the D.C. police have updated their policies for the better since the incident. Similar allegations of photograph seizure have cropped up around the country despite a Department of Justice letter informing police departments that documenting the police is a Constitutional right.